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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EconLit: Basic Search

A guide to using the EconLit database.

Basic Search

Image showing EconLit's basic search box.Click image to enlarge

EconLit defaults to an advanced search. To access basic search, click "Basic Search" under the advanced search boxes. Search by keyword, or adjust parameters under "Search Options." The basic search box automatically suggests terms to search by as you type.

Search Tips

  • When brainstorming keywords to search by, think of terms that are closely related to your topic, or terms you might use when discussing your topic with a colleague such as jargon, synonyms, and abbreviations.
  • "Search Options" allows you to limit your initial search by publication date, full-text results, scholarly (peer reviewed) journals, publication type, and more. 
  • Under "Search Options," set the "Search Mode" to Boolean/phrase, all search terms, some search terms, or SmartText searching. 
  • Use Boolean operators to limit, broaden, or eliminate terms from your search: 
    • AND limits search results, finding articles with both terms
    • OR broadens results, finding articles with either term
    • NOT eliminates terms from the results, finding articles with one term but not the other
  • Use truncation and wildcards to broaden your search:
    • Add a question mark (?) to replace one character in a word
    • Add a pound symbol (#)  to search for a word with an alternate spelling of a single character
    • Add an asterisk (*) after the stem of a word to find all its other possible endings. 
  • Use quotation marks around words to search for an exact phrase.